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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.6 Million in CARES Act Funding to Boost Economic Development Programs Critical to Helping North Carolina Respond to Coronavirus

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $1.6 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to four EDA Economic Development District organizations across North Carolina to update economic development plans and fortify programs to assist communities in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Trump Administration is eager to allocate these essential CARES Act funds and deliver on our promise to help American communities recover from the impact of COVID-19,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “I am proud of the perseverance and strength shown by our communities coast to coast throughout this pandemic, and these funds will help provide North Carolina with resources to make a swift and lasting economic comeback.”

“These investments come at a crucial time to help North Carolina’s and our nation’s economy come roaring back and provide hard-working Americans with new opportunities,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “We are pleased to make these investments in North Carolina’s EDA Economic Development Districts to help them prevent, prepare, and respond to coronavirus.”

“Funds like these are helpful to local governments working to better support existing businesses and encourage economic development,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “We will continue to work with federal partners to ensure the funds support the job creators in these communities.”

“Since the pandemic reached our shore, COVID-19 has wrecked families and small businesses across North Carolina,” said Senator Thom Tillis. “I’ve spoken to countless business owners over the span of the pandemic and have seen firsthand how this virus is not only killing people, but killing business. I’m proud of the rapid action my colleagues and I took to pass and implement the CARES Act to provide a backstop for job creators and rescue the economy. I’d like to thank Secretary Ross and the Trump Administration for continuing to help those affected during these trying times by deploying additional resources to North Carolina to revitalize neighborhoods and restore a healthy economy.”

“North Carolina small businesses continue to showcase their resiliency as our state grapples with the effects from COVID-19,” said Congressman Mark Walker (NC-06). “These grants provided through the CARES Act not only lift our community up, but bolsters our economic fortitude and assures that North Carolina will come back stronger than before this pandemic.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • Albemarle Commission, Hertford, North Carolina, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by providing technical assistance to local businesses and communities.
  • Centralina Economic Development District, Charlotte, North Carolina, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by supporting local businesses, regional workforce development, and boosting capacity of local jurisdictions in Charlotte with response planning and securing economic recovery resources.
  • Southeastern Economic Development Commission, Elizabethtown, North Carolina, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by working together with the Cape Fear, Lumber River, and Mid-Carolina Councils of Governments to implement strategies to recover from the pandemic, and diversify and grow the southeastern North Carolina economy.
  • Triangle J Council of Governments, Durham, North Carolina, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by providing technical assistance to local businesses and communities to advance pandemic economic recovery initiatives.

These entities, all EDA-designated Economic Development Districts (EDD), are some of the more than 850 existing, high-performing EDA EDD, University Center, Tribal, and Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grant recipients invited to apply for supplemental funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The CARES Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump, provides EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

On May 7, Secretary Ross announced that EDA is accepting applications for CARES Act Recovery Assistance funding opportunities.

EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. For complete information, please visit our recently updated EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance page.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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